DIR: David F. Sandberg • WRI: Eric Heisserer, David F. Sandberg • PRO: Lawrence Grey, Eric Heisserer, James Wan • DOP: Marc Spicer • ED: Michel Aller, Kirk M. Morri • DES: Jennifer Spence • MUS: Benjamin Wallfisch • CAST: Teresa Palmer, Gabriel Bateman, Alexander DiPersia
Keep the lights on and the monster won’t get you. A nice simple rule to get any horror story started, as Rebecca (Teresa Palmer) finds out in this lean debut from Dave F. Sandberg.
Estranged from her mother and not too good with emotional attachments (she wont even let her boyfriend have a post-coital sleepover) Rebecca is pulled back into the family circle. Her little brother, Martin (Gabriel Bateman) comes under the eye of the school social worker and Rebecca is called upon. His trauma stems from witnessing his mentally disturbed mother seemingly chatting with something, hovering around the family home, called Diana. A good night’s sleep there, does not feel like a healthy option. Rebecca’s reunion with her estranged mother and subsequent investigations soon rekindle her own memories of the entity. Something the unearthly Diana is not to happy about.
This feature version of a three-minute exercise in horror scares suffers from its need to over-explain things in a heavy-handed fashion, providing a derivative backstory and some clunky plot exposition. Despite these flaws, likeable performances, good pacing and a requisite amount of scares help it along. Enough happens to amuse the undiscerning horror viewer as has been proved by its box-office earnings. It has made over 90 million at the American box office alone. Expect more lights out sometime soon.
15A (See IFCO for details)
Lights Out is released 19th August 2016